Figure 3.1

The payload design process generates requirements for accommodating the payload.

BOX 3.1 Payload Accommodation Requirements


  • Size (outline and mounting dimensions)

  • Mass

  • Moments of inertia

  • Uncompensated momentum

  • Launch loads (shock and vibration)

  • Disturbances


  • Conducted and radiated heat flux to/from payload

  • Thermal gradients and baseplate distortion


  • Power requirements

  • Output data rate

  • Command, control, and telemetry

  • Electromagnetic interference


  • Sensor orientation and clear fields of view

  • Pointing stability, agility

  • Contamination: particulates, outgassing

Specific accommodation requirements vary widely depending on the type of payload instrument, with high-resolution, broad-swath, electro-optical multispectral imagers being the most demanding in terms of size, mass, data rate, and pointing accuracy and stability. Pointing and stability is often a differentiating factor between spacecraft designed to carry communication payloads and those designed to carry remote sensing payloads, the latter typically having more demanding requirements (see Chapter 4).


A comprehensive suite of payload instruments is currently under development for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Earth Science Enterprise (ESE)—including those that will be placed on the

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